Thursday, June 12, 2008

TeacherTube

By now (unless you've been on a deserted island without your laptop and mobile broadband card), you've heard of YouTube. The media uses it for news stories, bands are using it to promote themselves and students are using it for projects. YouTube is a wonderful resource to find video for just about any topic. But, because anyone anywhere in the world can post to YouTube, you have to know how to search through the "garbage" to find the treasures.

Let's use one of the most horrifying days in US history as an example and pretend we are a teacher about to discuss the tragedy with or students.

Performing a search on YouTube for 9/11. Pulls up the following Titles (along with 176,000 other "related" videos):
9/11 Coincidences (Part One)
Never before seen Video of WTC 9/11 attack
9/11 Budweiser Tribute
Fahrenheit 9/11 Trailer
Walmart Intercom: 9/11 Truth

While this is great, it certainly does not have much educational value. Additionally, there is no way to perform due research diligance to prove the sources validity. Also, some of the comments made about the vidoes contain harsh language and strong opinions. While this can certainly spark discussion, many teacher's would simply shy away from using the technology because of the added inconveniences.

So, what is our teacher to do in this situation? There is a terrific resource called TeacherTube.com. It is a resource for teachers and students to share video in a "safe" environment. Teachers can post and find videos here that are of pure educational value. Using our search of 9/11 on TeacherTube provides the following videos:

4th of July American History and 911
911
A Nation Under Attack
Hope in Time of Fear Part 1 of 3
September 11th 2001

While there are only 18 video in total on this topic, TeacherTube.com provides a good resource for quick access to educational content on the subject of your choosing.
Each video also provides a brief synopsis of the content. For example the sidebar for September 11th 2001 reads:

Tags // 911 wtc september 11 world trade centers twin towers
Channels // Career and Technology Education (CATE)
Added: 2008-03-04 by rpey120
Runtime: 03:42 Views: 1237 Comments: 0

The Channels tab provdes teachers with a quick link to their subject and grade level. It also is a great place to showcase your student videos without exposing their identities to the world! You can set up private groups and allow your students to post and see each other's work without fearing the random negative or vulgar comments that appear on YouTube.

One additional benefit is that you are able to download any video of your choosing and embed them into your website, blog or powerpoint presentations.



So in summary, TeacherTube.com is a growing video community for educators. Does it provide the glitz and glamour of YouTube? Not yet. Will you find the Mentos boys spewing pop all over some field to Beethoven's 5th? Probably not. But if you are looking for a place to gather ideas or brief videos to start a class discussion TeacherTube.com is worth a visit.
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